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Spain’s Osborne bull ‘is not Bulgarian’, rules EU
14 February 2019 @ 17:30

A CLAIM by a firm in Bulgaria that the iconic Osborne bull in Spain is a breach of copyright has been thrown out by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) – and sparked mirth among Spanish-speakers.

The plaintiff’s attempt to register its brand ‘Torro’ was rejected by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) because its similarity with the Spanish word for ‘bull’, toro, would ‘cause confusion among English speakers’.

Phonetically and visually, the EUIPO ruled, ‘Torro’ is the same as toro for the Anglo-Saxon world, although in practice this is not the case, since a double-R is ‘rolled’ and sounds very different to a single R.

The bull, known as the ‘Toro de Osborne’, is not just the stamp of the Spanish liqueur manufacturer, but also, unofficially, a flagship symbol of Spain – its exact shape is reproduced on mugs, ashtrays and other souvenir items across the country.


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